Spread the love

Once in awhile, you hear somebody say, when something disastrous occurs, “Everything happens for a reason.” (And its corollary: It’s a blessing in disguise. Ugh.) I used to say it, too. But now, it brings up thoughts of infants dying of SIDS, of good people having a fatal disease, of innocent folks experience a mudslide without insurance. Why would anything happen to them!


I believe in God, albeit an agnostic right at the edge, but I believe it’s a random occurrence for how things shake down. It’s all bad luck. Don’t fool yourself. It’s not “God’s plan.” How could it be!

Canadian philosopher Dr. Paul Thagard says, “For some people, thinking this way makes it easier to deal with relationship problems, financial crises, disease, death, and even natural disasters such as earthquakes. It can be distressing to think that bad things happen merely through chance or accident. But they do.”

Adversity strategist Tim Lawrence writes, “Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” 

Freelance journalist Nicholas Clairmont argues, “‘Everything happens for a reason’ is my very least favorite thing for someone to say.”

The list is endless. Can they all be wrong? 

Let me give you some scenarios when “Everything happens for a reason” is said most–when some friend is going through a relationship break-up and you say, “Everything happens for reason.” It’s ridiculous. Fucked up. Or when somebody lost all their retirement money in a scam. Or when somebody lost a child. Egads, person! Everything happens for a reason? Get real!

The event that changed my mind forever in not saying “everything happens for a reason” was my stroke on April 8, 2009. I had low cholesterol, low blood pressure, no diabetes, and participated in none of the life choices people make to cause a stroke to happen. I couldn’t have prevented a stroke anyway because as it turns out, I had “S protein deficiency” that  is a disorder of blood clotting. People with this condition have an increased risk of developing abnormal blood clots. And I had clots in every limb. 
“Everything happens for a reason” was said by a friend, M, when I had the stroke, two months after.

“Look what it did! Everything happens for a reason because if you didn’t have a stroke, your book [The Tales of a Stroke Patient] wouldn’t have been written.”

I thought, What a moronic thing to say. I am an author,  having written a book and articles before my stroke. I hid in the bathroom for about an hour, sobbing, dry heaving, and thinking she’s a stupid jerk. I imagine she felt better, thinking that expression was kind, giving me cause to write, but I felt so much worse. I would write some other book. 

So why even try if it’s God’s plan anyway? How about if you cruise through life on a shoestring budget because if it’s God’s plan, why bother? Those words are blasphemy to some, but if there really is God, and I think there is, why wouldn’t He want the best for everyone? 

These are God questions that I asked in elementary school, sixty and some odd years ago. I still have no answers about God and His plans. But “everything happens for a reason” is bullshit. I answered that 10 years ago.
Joyce Hoffman

Joyce Hoffman

Joyce Hoffman is one of the world's top 10 stroke bloggers according to the Medical News Today. You can find the original post and other blogs Joyce wrote in Tales of a Stroke Survivor. (https://talesofastrokesurvivor.blog)
Previous post Depression, Anxiety, and Brain Injury : It’s So Much More Than the Blues
Next post Why You Lose Memory from Brain Injury and Possible Ways to Improve It
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joyce Hoffman
3 years ago

Such a sad story. Write to me at [email protected] and we'll talk about it.

3 years ago

When I was in my twenties, I could nor get a boyfriend and it looked like I would die a childless old maid, however, I worked hard and changed that, so that my destiny was more or less, exactly what I had dreamed of, with the sort of man I had always pictured, 3 jobs that I had always wanted and financial security so that I would be able to do the big OS trip when I retired, and with a person who was not a social embarrassment, unlike the 3 "boyfriends" that I had, prior to meeting MY MAN.
So God did not like the tI had changed his destiny, so he made me have a stroke which totally annihilated everything that I had worked so hard for, AND destroyed the ability to get any of it back. So yes, the stroke happened for a reason – that of sending me back to the miserable destiny that God had originally laid out for me.

5 years ago

Yes it does, it's a constant struggle every day but what choice do we have but to just roll over and keep on on keeping on.

Joyce Hoffman
5 years ago

I agree, folks.

5 years ago

I totally disagree that everything happens for a reason. I think completely random is a much more plausible explanation.

5 years ago

having a stroke sucks. ditto

Rebecca Dutton
5 years ago


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x